Help me with this please! Preptest 34 Section 3 Problem 5

houng89
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:06 am

Help me with this please! Preptest 34 Section 3 Problem 5

Postby houng89 » Thu May 05, 2011 4:28 am

Hi guys so I need help understanding this question which is from Prep test 34. The answer is (D). I understand why (D) is correct as well as why B, C, and E are incorrect. However, I am having a difficult time understanding why (A) is incorrect as well. According to the stimulus, if your citizens don't have strong bonds of mutual trust then a democratic society cannot exist. This is inherent in the conditional reasoning. Therefore if someone who relies on movies and electronic media for entertainment is unable to form a strong bond of mutual trust with a citizen then a democratic society cannot exist. Therefore, wouldn't A be inherently corrosive to a democracy as a result?


5.
Columnist: A democratic society cannot exist unless its citizens have established strong bonds of mutual trust. Such bonds are formed and strengthened only by participation in civic organizations, political parties, and other groups outside the family. It is obvious then that widespread reliance on movies and electronic media for entertainment has an inherently corrosive effect on democracy.

Which on of the following is an assumption on which the columnist's argument depends?

A) Anyone who relies on movies and electronic media for entertainment is unable to form a strong bond of mutual trust with a citizen

B) Civic organizations cannot usefully advance their goals by using electronic media

C) Newspapers and other forms of print media strengthen, rather than weaken, democratic institutions

D) Relying on movies and electronic media for entertainment generally makes people less likely to participate in groups outside their families

E)People who rely on movies and electronic media for entertainment are generally closer to their families than are those who do not.

futurelawstudent1
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 9:50 pm

Re: Help me with this please! Preptest 34 Section 3 Problem 5

Postby futurelawstudent1 » Thu May 05, 2011 5:58 am

A is a sufficient assumption, not a necessary assumption. The question is asking for a necessary assumption.

In other words, the argument would be valid if A were true, but it could also be valid if A were not true. For instance, if 99% of all people, rather than 100% (as answer A says), were unable to form mutual bonds because of reliance on electronic media, wouldn't the argument still hold? Therefore A isn't a necessary assumption (its extreme language would have made this clear to a more experienced test taker).

SanDiegoJake
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 3:17 pm

Re: Help me with this please! Preptest 34 Section 3 Problem 5

Postby SanDiegoJake » Thu May 05, 2011 1:50 pm

For assumption questions, you can and should use the negation test to determine the one that is the truly necessary assumption.

In short, because the argument depends on one of these answer choices to be a valid argument, you can find the right answer by negating each answer choice. The correct answer is the one that invalidates the argument if it is not true.

Case in point:

Answer Choice A: What if anyone who relies on movies etc.. for entertainment IS able to form a strong bond of mutual trust? Does that mean that movies etc.. does NOT have an inherently corrosive effect? (Not really. What if they're able just unwilling as a result of all that American Idol...)

Answer Choice D: What if relying on movies etc... does NOT make it less likely to participate in groups? Does that mean that movies etc... does NOT have a corrosive effect according to the terms in the argument? (Yes. If this answer isn't true, there's no corrosive connection between movies and relationships.)

The negation test: Your best friend on necessary assumption questions. :)




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